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Sorrel Drink (recipe & video)

Sorrel Drink (recipe & video)
Christmas in Trinidad is a diverse multicultural affair. Not just for the Christian population, but also through the secular participation of the nation at large through the enjoyment of our local christmas songs (called parang) and especially the creation and consumption of our traditional Christmas foods. No Christmas in Trinidad would be complete without some rum-soaked black cake cold thick Punch... 

Trinidad Black Cake (recipe)

Trinidad Black Cake (recipe)
This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Trini ChristmasLike sorrel, Black Cake in Trinidad is a Christmas institution. Made predominantly of alcohol drenched prunes, currants and raisins, variations abound (and I love taste testing when we make the visiting rounds). Still, the best black cake is always the recipe that one grew up with. In this case my black cake comes from my aunt, who also uses this... 

In Trinidad, Christmas is Parang! (video & holiday recipe roundup)

In Trinidad, Christmas is Parang! (video & holiday recipe roundup)
What is Parang? Well Parang is the soundtrack to Christmas here in Trinidad. More than that however Parang is also a culture, a way of life that sweeps through my island after the lights of Eid and Divali have been put away. The What is Parang? webpage has a wonderful overview of the history and features of Trinidad Parang. ‘Parang’ is the present Trinidadian interpretation of the Spanish... 

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 7 – Carnival Bands

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 7 - Carnival Bands
This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Trinidad and Tobago CarnivalI was talking to a Brazilian friend a few years ago and she was surprised at some of the differences between our Carnival and theirs. You see it was a few weeks ago when she decided to look and see what costume/band she should play with. She was shocked when all the Trinis were like, whoa you are way too late. You see, here Carnival... 

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 6 – J’Ouvert & Ole Time Mas

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 6 - J'Ouvert & Ole Time Mas
This entry is part 6 of 9 in the series Trinidad and Tobago CarnivalJ’ouvert (joo-VAY) is the start to the Carnival celebrations. It begins in the pre-dawn hours of Carnival Monday and lasts until daybreak. J’ouvert (which is a Creole corruption of the French Jour Ouvert – day opening) is also known as ‘dirty mas’. It seems to symbolise us going down to our rawest most... 

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 5 – Dimanche Gras

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 5 - Dimanche Gras
This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series Trinidad and Tobago CarnivalDimanche Gras takes place on the Sunday night before Ash Wednesday. Here the Calypso Monarch is chosen (after competition) and prize money and a vehicle bestowed. Also the King and Queen of the bands are crowned, where each band to parade costumes for the next two days submits a king and queen, from which an overall winner is chosen.... 

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 4 – Fetes!

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 4 - Fetes!
This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series Trinidad and Tobago Carnival If you are getting the sense that Carnival is one big long party you are right! So it only makes sense that one big long party would be made of many many big long parties as well. These parties in Trinidad are called fetes and are attended by hundreds sometimes thousands. Fetes feature the biggest soca artists of... 

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 3 – Steelbands and Panorama

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 3 - Steelbands and Panorama
This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Exodus Steelband performing in Trafalgar Square, England – photo by bram_souffreau It seems that every time a North American program wants to denote the ‘tropics’ you will hear the sound of a steelpan. It doesn’t even to seem to matter if the ‘tropics’ are in the Caribbean on a cruise ship or... 

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 2 – Soca Music

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival: Part 2 - Soca Music
This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series Trinidad and Tobago CarnivalIt is hard to imagine Carnival without music. And the definitive music of Trinidad and Tobago Carnival is soca. So what is Soca Music? Well, why not let Soca Superstar Machel Montano say it in his own words? From Caribbean Music 101 (the original link no longer works unfortunately): What is Soca? Soca is a modern form of calypso... 

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival – A Brief Overview

Trinidad and Tobago Carnival - A Brief Overview
This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series Trinidad and Tobago CarnivalWith only a few days before ‘High Mas’ it is time again to shine a spotlight on Trinidad’s largest cultural festival, Carnival. Where did the word “carnival” come from? Hundred and hundreds of years ago, the followers of the Catholic religion in Italy started the tradition of holding a wild costume festival... 

Trinidad Paime (recipe)

Trinidad Paime (recipe)
As promised, here is a recipe for Paime (pron. PAY-me)! Paime is basically a sweet version of the savoury pastelle. I only recently discovered that Paime is also a traditional Xmas dish. Well that explains why it seemed I never could find it lol! No one in my family makes this traditionally, so I have only been offered/given it by acquaintances of myself or my family. It is definitely a favorite... 

Punch de Creme (recipe)

Punch de Creme (recipe)
This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Trini ChristmasPunch de Creme, is another of Trinidad’s traditional Christmas drinks. One thing that I really like about punch de creme (as opposed to traditional eggnog) is the use of citrus flavors like lime and Angostura bitters (which has orange extract). This gives the ‘nog’ a fruity lightness that alleviates the sweet creaminess (which... 

Trinidad Pastelles (recipe) now with Delicious Vegan Option!

Trinidad Pastelles (recipe) now with Delicious Vegan Option!
This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Trini ChristmasOne of Trinidad’s seasonal delights, pastelles are a steamed cornmeal pie wrapped in banana leaves and filled with stewed meat, olives, and raisins. I’ve been told that they are very similar to Latin American tamales, and indeed Venezualan foodblogger Tomasnomas has a link to the exact same dish, referring to it on his blog as Tamal... 

Trinidad Corn Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings (recipe & video)

Trinidad Corn Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings (recipe & video)
Corn soup is a street food favorite here in Trinidad, especially at carnival time when vendors ply large pots of it that they spoon into styrofoam cups outside of fetes and clubs. It’s also popular as a Saturday lunch. Chopped pieces of corn on the cob are often included, however in the variation I prepared below I have left them out. Feel free to add them back in though if you want the added... 

Trinidad Macaroni Pie (recipe)

Trinidad Macaroni Pie (recipe)
Trinidad Macaroni Pie. I had often wondered if there is such a thing in a definitive sense, however I have gotten so many hits with that as a search term that I now have to believe that there is. Coupled with the fact that my Jamaican mother does not make this dish more than once a leap year (and when she does she does in a -very- different manner) and I have to believe that Trinidad Macaroni pie... 

Caribbean Beachcomber July/August 1969 – Caribbean Kitchen Magic! (video)

Caribbean Beachcomber July/August 1969 – Caribbean Kitchen Magic! (video)
Long time patrons of Trinidad’s first national airline BWIA, and its more recent incarnation Caribbean Airlines, are familiar with its highly respected inflight publication “Caribbean Beat”. However did you know that before that there was the “Caribbean Beachcomber”? A joint effort between BWIA, LIAT, Air Jamaica, the Jamaica Air Service, the Caribbean... 

20 Ways To Enjoy Soup!

20 Ways To Enjoy Soup!
Top 10 Soup Recipes on TriniGourmet.com 1. Trinidad Corn Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings (recipe) Corn soup is a street food favorite here in Trinidad, especially at carnival time when vendors ply large pots of it that they spoon into styrofoam cups outside of fetes and clubs. 2. Trinidad Callaloo (vegetarian recipe) Callaloo is a fond memory for many Trinidadians, myself included, 3.... 

Trinidad Saltfish Accra (recipe)

Trinidad Saltfish Accra (recipe)
I see plenty of recipes for accra in West Indian Cookbooks but often they bear little resemblance to Trinidad Accra. My Jamaican mother tells me that what she knows as accra is a saltfish fritter, flat, fried brown. Here in Trinidad however accra is a puffy fried dough ball, made of a highly seasoned dough into which shredded saltfish has been mixed. I’ve had it at weddings, gatherings, and... 

Ghosts of Our Culinary Past – Sylvia Hunt’s “Proud Legacy of Our People”

Ghosts of Our Culinary Past – Sylvia Hunt's
Several years ago, the UK based Trini food blogger Can Cook Must Cook posted on “Those Disappearing Pleasures”, the snacks of her childhood which no longer appear on Trini shop shelves. Out of the names she called I could only recognize ‘rock cake’. Bellyful? Shaddock Candy? Kaser Balls? Wha dat? This made me more than a little sad. Apparently many of these items fell out... 

20 Ways To Enjoy Ginger!

20 Ways To Enjoy Ginger!
. From Epicentre.com: Ginger is one of those ingredients that can be many things to many people. Not only is it used in cuisines around the world, but it also comes in a variety of forms fresh, pickled, dried, and crystallized among them . People who bake may immediately call to mind the ground ginger they use in gingerbread or the jewel-like crystallized ginger they add to holiday cookies and cakes.... 

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